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16 October 2014
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Warwick Dalzell

Warwick was born in Co Down and taught for a time in Northern Ireland. He sought his fortune in Africa, but returned home penniless. After another stint at the chalkface, he went to London. There he met Peter O'Loughlin who advised him to head for Australia, where he lived on and off for forty years. He is now a frequent pilgrim to the old country.

A Hymn to Movilla by Warwick Dalzell

Here Finian built his abbey
And Columba
Stole the book calf of Finian's copy
Of the Holy Book.
Here Columba set out to raise the men of Ulster In the name of God, And his own arrogance, And for penance Left Ulster for ever.
Here Marianus Scotus
Questioned his faith
And shone the light of Movilla
In the darkness of Europe,
In the forests of the Rhine.
Here the Danes
Defiled the holy place
And burnt the monastery
On the plain of the aged tree.
Here also the Normans,
And the Augustinians,
Left a trace of their shears
And swords
On the coffin lids,
And Or Do Dertrend.
Whose prayer for Dertrend?
Here the clan
Of yellow-haired Hugh
For the last time
In defiance of Elizabeth.
Burnt the abbey
Here the Montgomery passed on by,
And Movilla lay neglected for a while.
Here now in quiet death
My forefathers lie,
Sleeping with Finian,
Among his many miracles,
Waiting for the body of red gold,
To signal the last triumph
Over the sting of death
And the grave of victory.

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